Supply-Side Audience Data Insertion? SpotX and Acxiom Say Oh Yeah

As the third-party tracking cookie continues its long, long farewell tour, advertisers and publishers alike are looking for replacement targeting solutions—particularly ones that won’t steep them in the user privacy quagmire brought on by cookies. Tech providers seem to be meeting them with ingenuity, as evidenced by the latest partnership between video SSP SpotX and data platform Acxiom.

Acxiom—previously the Acxiom Marketing Services division of LiveRamp, which was spun off and sold to IPG in 2018—will be injecting its treasure trove of consumer data on the supply side. Yeah, you heard that right—we’re all very used to advertisers searching for users across the exchanges based on their own data stores and relying on cookie syncs, but injecting a variety of data types into the exchange makes for sharper and more efficient targeting. The solution seems to leverage identity concepts but the end-publisher doesn’t need to be hooked into an identity solution—which is useful for pubs lacking scores of authenticated traffic.

You can bet I was fascinated by this setup and wanted a better understanding of how it works. Kristen Williams, VP of Strategic Partnerships at SpotX, and John Baudino, SVP of Digital Data at Acxiom, were happy to oblige.

GAVIN DUNAWAY: So how exactly does this work? Does Acxiom need to partner with publishers? 

KRISTEN WILLIAMS: No, Acxiom does not need to partner with the publishers directly. SpotX’s deep relationship with media owners allows for the Acxiom audience mapping on the supply side, as a result of this integration.

GD: Is Acxiom syncing IDs within the auction, somewhat akin to an identity solution?

JOHN BAUDINO: Yes, Acxiom is enabling customer based data strategies by onboarding our datasets to SpotX’s premium video publishers inventories. The partnership drives more filtered demand to media owners and enhances their engagement with advertisers who are focused on audience-based buying and wish to hone in on specific customers via well-curated and actionable first- and third-party audience data, across all devices and platforms. As a result of the partnership, advertisers will gain access to premium video inventory at scale via SpotX, as well as audience mapping and advanced forecasting and planning.

GD: What kind of data is Acxiom inserting—mainly demographic?

JB: All of Acxiom people-based data is available upon request to be activated in a secure and compliant manner on SpotX’s platform. We can help curate a full funnel data strategy for Agencies, Brands and Advertisers via our Audience Cloud Platform.

GD: Will this Acxiom product be open to agencies outside of IPG, which owns Acxiom?

KW: Yes, the product will be available to agencies outside of IPG.

GD: What are the chief benefits to publishers besides potentially higher CPMs?

KW: CPMs are indeed higher when audience targeting is applied but this is opening up demand that wasn’t available before. Publishers and media owners will also have the benefit of more filtered demand that is specific to their audiences via well-curated and actionable first- and third-party data. This, in turn, improves their engagement with advertisers overall and creates a more personalized and relevant viewer experience.